New Jaguar F-Pace vs Audi Q5: interiors

Both of these cars show that large SUVs don't have to be expensive to run. But which is best: the facelifted Jaguar F-Pace or Audi's Q5?...

Jaguar F-Pace 2021 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

You’ll have very few complaints about the driving positions of either of our contenders, but the Jaguar F-Pace has the advantage.

Its deeper sports seats – courtesy of the R-Dynamic trim upgrades – not only hold you more firmly in place through corners but also provide 12-way electric adjustment that makes it easy to make tiny tweaks to fine-tune your position behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the seats in the Audi Q5 offer decent side support and are comfy, albeit rather firm, and provide plenty of adjustment, but it’s a shame that this is manual, rather than electric.

The F-Pace also has the high-set large SUV driving position that many buyers are after, even if you drop the seat as low as it can go. In comparison, the Q5 places you lower, giving you a driving position that doesn’t feel all that far removed from what you’ll find in a family hatchback.

Audi Q5 2021 dashboard

Its recent overhaul has given the F-Pace a significantly updated interior, with posher materials that look smart and feel more substantial. The (standard) leather upholstery, contrasting stitching and aluminium trim combine for a sumptuous feel, and the big rotary climate control switches are nicely damped. There are still some flimsier finishes to be found, but not in prominent places.

The Q5’s dashboard is more understated to look at, but its switches and buttons are logically arranged and easy to use, and when it comes to fit and finish, it beats not only the F-Pace but also every other car in this class.

Infotainment systems

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace 2021 touchscreen

The Jaguar F-Pace wins the screen one-upmanship war here, with a bigger (11.4in) touchscreen. It also gets sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and all the connectivity and entertainment features you’d expect. It’s one of the best touchscreens in the class, with a clever configurable home page, although the Q5’s screen responds more quickly. The optional (£840) Meridian 12-speaker sound system is fantastic; it isn’t worth paying more for the 16-speaker system.

Audi Q5

Audi Q5 2021 touchscreen

The Q5’s 10.1in touchscreen has great graphics and comes with sat-nav, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. It’s easy to hop between functions and the screen responds quickly to commands, but we miss the rotary controller that featured in the Audi Q5 before its facelift, because it was easier to use on the move. The £1395 Comfort and Sound Pack is worth adding for the sound quality of the 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system.